Kiton’s retail rollout is continuing.

This story first appeared in the March 12, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The upscale Italian brand will open a 2,500-square-foot store in San Francisco by the end of the month. The store, at Post Street and Grant Avenue, is located one block away from Union Square and will be housed in the Shreve Building, which was built in 1905 and survived the 1906 earthquake because of its then-state-of-the-art engineering.

The San Francisco store opening is part of Kiton’s plan to significantly expand its retail presence worldwide over the next five years, adding some 20 units to the 52 it currently operates. About six will be in key markets in the U.S. The most recent one opened last May at the Four Seasons Hotel New York, a 500-square-foot location that sells only men’s accessories and sportswear.

The San Francisco store will house Kiton’s men’s and women’s clothing, sportswear, accessories and shoes.

“We decided to open in San Francisco because it’s our largest market outside New York City,” said Antonio Paone, president of Kiton USA.
The store will also offer a limited number of custom surfboards made with Kiton fabric inlays. The surfboards will be hand-shaped and glassed by Casey McCrystal, a California-based surfboard maker who has produced products for professional and underground surfers since 1975. The Kiton surfboards will be available by special order only.

Paone said the company decided to add this unusual product to the offering because of the number of people on the West Coast who enjoy the sport. “I’m a surfer as well,” he said, acknowledging with a laugh that, “Of course,” the first Kiton board will be his.

Kiton products are sold at Wilkes Bashford and Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, but Paone doesn’t expect the store to impact the company’s wholesale business. “We’re anticipating that will help grow our wholesale accounts because it will increase brand awareness and show a broader and deeper assortment,” he said.

Paone said the store will be Kiton’s fourth in the U.S. Later this year, it will add units in Houston in a new part of the Galleria mall currently under construction, as well as in Miami.

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